Neon

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
While their biggest rival, BBC's Eastenders, has spawned chart-topping singles from Nick Berry and Martine McCutcheon, and reasonably successful mid-'90s pop careers for Michelle Gayle and Sean Maguire, ITV soap opera Coronation Street has struggled to produce a genuine chart star in its 50-year history. Apart from a briefly successful stab at Hi-NRG pop from Adam Rickett, and a Top 20 hit apiece from Matthew Marsden and Bill Tarmey, Britain's longest-running TV drama is more renowned for flop singles by Tracy Shaw and Kevin Kennedy than any long-term musical prowess. Richard Fleeshman, who played troubled teenager Craig Harris from 2002 until 2006, is the latest actor to ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
While their biggest rival, BBC's Eastenders, has spawned chart-topping singles from Nick Berry and Martine McCutcheon, and reasonably successful mid-'90s pop careers for Michelle Gayle and Sean Maguire, ITV soap opera Coronation Street has struggled to produce a genuine chart star in its 50-year history. Apart from a briefly successful stab at Hi-NRG pop from Adam Rickett, and a Top 20 hit apiece from Matthew Marsden and Bill Tarmey, Britain's longest-running TV drama is more renowned for flop singles by Tracy Shaw and Kevin Kennedy than any long-term musical prowess. Richard Fleeshman, who played troubled teenager Craig Harris from 2002 until 2006, is the latest actor to showcase his versatility with his debut album, Neon, but unlike his predecessors, the 18-year-old already has a pretty solid musical pedigree, having won a celebrity edition of Stars in Their Eyes as Will Young, and the first series of TV talent show Soapstar Superstar. But while his show biz background and teen pin-up image may suggest a series of boy band-style ballads in the vein of his former co-star Keith Duffy's Boyzone, its 11 tracks focus on a tightly crafted and slightly Americanized pop
ock sound, as evident on his choice of the two cover versions included, Semisonic's "Secret Smile" and Gin Blossoms' "Hey Jealousy." Indeed, packed full of driving harmonies, organic acoustic production, and a mature singer/songwriter sensibility (Fleeshman co-wrote nine tracks), it's not difficult to see why Elton John personally offered him the support slot on his European summer stadium tour. Lead single "Coming Down" is a melodically rousing start to proceedings thanks to its Daniel Powter-esque feel-good chorus, but it's far from the only potential airplay staple in waiting, as the likes of the nu-country influenced "Play It Down the Middle," the lilting "Skyline," and the chiming "Going Backwards" all showcase Fleeshman's breathy, characterful vocals and knack of creating giant pop hooks. But wisely, there are also a few attempts to mix things up before the constant AOR anthems begin to wear a bit thin, such as the gorgeous string-soaked folky ballad "Back Here," the James Morrison-style soul of "Eighteen," and the jaunty Beatles-inspired closing track "Hold Me Close." Fleeshman may find it hard to shake off his less-than-credible TV past, but even though Neon may rely a little too heavily on his obvious influences, it's a self-assured and surprisingly strong collection of songs, which not only gives him a fighting chance of being taken seriously, but is arguably the best debut from a soap star since Natalie Imbruglia's Left of the Middle.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/15/2008
  • Label: Universal I.S.
  • UPC: 602517530720
  • Catalog Number: 1753072
  • Sales rank: 146,288

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Coming Down (3:17)
  2. 2 Play It Down the Middle (4:11)
  3. 3 Back Here (3:38)
  4. 4 Skyline (3:44)
  5. 5 Secret Smile (4:36)
  6. 6 These Days (3:36)
  7. 7 Hey Jealousy (3:33)
  8. 8 Eighteen (4:15)
  9. 9 Going Backwards (3:17)
  10. 10 No Man's Land (3:47)
  11. 11 Hold Me Close (3:08)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Richard Fleeshman Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Chris Braide Composer
Eliot Kennedy Composer
Steve Robson Composer
Billy Mann Composer
Sacha Skarbek Composer
Richard Fleeshman Composer
Luke Potashnick Composer
Matt Prime Composer
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